This post appeared on the RenounceUScitizenship blog.
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) August 20, 2013
Recent, shocking revelations regarding Texas Senator Ted Cruz! Ted Cruz is a Canadian citizen. Does this mean that he is not American or not completely American? Could he be “UnAmerican”? The above tweet references an article that reports the release of a story that …
… showed Cruz was born in 1970 in Calgary, Canada. His mother, Eleanor, was born in Delaware and was a U.S. citizen and his father, Rafael, was born in Cuba. Cruz had said in interviews prior to his Senate election that he is a U.S. citizen because his mother was born in the USA.
“Because I was a U.S. citizen at birth, because I left Calgary when I was 4 and have lived my entire life since then in the U.S., and because I have never taken affirmative steps to claim Canadian citizenship, I assumed that was the end of the matter,” Cruz said in a statement released Monday.
“Now The Dallas Morning News says that I may technically have dual citizenship,” Cruz continued. “Assuming that is true, then sure, I will renounce any Canadian citizenship. Nothing against Canada, but I’m an American by birth and as a U.S. senator, I believe I should be only an American.”
Cruz will have to explain in writing why he doesn’t want to be Canadian, fill out a four-page form and get clearance from Canada’s spy agency, according to Reuters. The process could take up to eight months.
The four categories of U.S. Citizens
Category 1 – Those born in the United States
Those born in the United States acquire citizenship involuntarily. Nothing is required of them to become a U.S. citizen. The fact of birth inside the United States suffices. Therefore no specific “oath of allegiance” is required.
Category 2 – Those born to U.S. citizens abroad who claim U.S. citizenship
In certain circumstances those born outside the United States to one or more U.S. citizen parents may have a right to claim U.S. citizenship. This is the position that Mr. Cruz appears to be taking.
Category 3 – Immigrating to America – Naturalization – Your promise of obedience …
The U.S. was built on immigration. All immigrants arrived as citizens of other countries. Immigrants become citizens. The oath of citizenship includes:
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”
Those taking the oath of citizenship swear total devotion, obedience, and servitude to the United States. Yet, the U.S. has many citizens who continue to be citizens of other countries – making them dual citizens. Does dual citizenship imply dual loyalty? Does dual citizenship imply divided loyalty? Should a U.S. Navy pilot with dual Canadian/U.S. citizenship be forced to renounce his Canadian citizenship?
Interestingly only those citizens who did NOT acquire U.S. citizenship by being born in the United States are required to promise such devotion, obedience and servitude.
The idea is that “you’re with us or you’re against us”. Purity is demanded in U.S. politics. Can or should a dual citizen be entitled to participate in U.S. politics? Is there a reason for Ted Cruz to renounce Canadian citizenship?
Category 4 – “Natural born citizen” – A requirement to be president
When it comes to being President of the United States, not all citizens are equal. The constitution requires that one be a “natural born” citizen. This was an issue faced by George Romney (Mitt Romney’s father) when he ran for president in 1968.
But, let’s not overshoot the mark. The first step is to decide whether Senator Ted Cruz is a U.S. citizen at all.
Is Ted Cruz a U.S. citizen at all?
The likely perspectives of Senators Levin, Schumer, Reed and others
Mr. Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada in 1970. It is likely that from the perspectives of Senators Levin, Schumer, Reed and others, that this is odd and suspicious. Was his Canadian birth planned by his parents? Why would they allow young Ted to be born outside the United States? After all, the state of Montana is not far from Calgary. There were “fifty perfectly good states” for a child to be born in. Why would his parents allow Mr. Cruz to be born in Canada? Were his parents ever disloyal to the United States? What were they doing in Canada anyway? Certainly there were perfectly good jobs available to them in the United States. Were they trying to evade U.S. taxes? Did they file their FBARs? They may have been running a business. What a from 5471? Should they be punished for leaving the United States?
The likely perspective of somebody grounded in reality
The Cruz family went where they could make a living. They went where they could feed themselves. Ted Cruz was born in Canada because – are you ready for this – it’s where the family was living.
Regardless of the reason …
Ted Cruz was born outside the United States on “foreign” soil. He was clearly a “natural born” Canadian. (How can a “natural born” Canadian be a “natural born” American?) There is a presumption that those born outside the U.S. are NOT U.S. citizens. Mr. Cruz claims his U.S. citizenship on the basis that his mother was a U.S. citizen. More is required. When one is born outside the U.S., a claim to U.S. citizenship is based on a showing of specific facts.
In 1970, these facts included the U.S. citizenship status of one or both of the parents and the length of time that the the “U.S. citizen parent resided in the U.S.
In 1970, the law was that a person born outside the United States had a claim to U.S. citizenship if one parent was a U.S. citizen and that parent had at least ten years of physical presence in the U.S. and five years after the age of fourteen.
If you are born outside the United States – The citizenship of your parents matters!
Introducing Mr. Cruz’s Mother: Mr. Cruz bases his citizenship on the claim that his mother was born in the United States (in that notorious tax haven of Delaware).
Introducing Mr. Cruz’s Father: He was apparently a citizen of Cuba (a Communist enemy of the United States).
A portrait of the Senator as a young man
Mr. Cruz and Mr. FBAR were both born in 1970. Mr. Cruz was born “offshore”, in a foreign country – Calgary, Canada. Mr. FBAR was born in the Homeland. Mr. FBAR was designed to “alert the Homeland” to “offshore” Americans. Did Mr. FBAR play a role in the detection of the Cruz family? Apparently Mr. Cruz lived in Calgary until he was 4. What was he doing during those 4 years? Did the family have a bank account with a Canadian bank? Did his parents have a bank account for Mr. Cruz? Should an FBAR have been filed on his behalf or on behalf of his mother? Did the family file their U.S. tax and information returns?
But, more on the mother – was she capable of transmitting citizenship to young Ted?
Senator Cruz claims his mother is a U.S. citizen because she was born in the United States.
But even proof of this fact is NOT sufficient to prove Mr. Cruz’s U.S. citizenship!
Did his mother have sufficient residential ties to the U.S. to be able to transmit U.S. citizenship to young Ted? Did she have a physical presence in the U.S. of at least ten years? Did she have a physical presence in the U.S. for at least five years after the age of fourteen? These questions are of vital importance!
What Senator Cruz needs to do …
In addition to releasing his own birth certificate, Senator Cruz needs to provide:
1. His mother’s birth certificate or other proof that the person who he claims to be his mother was born in the U.S.;
2. Proof that that the person who he claims to be his mother is really his mother; and
3. Proof that at the time young Ted was born, that his mother had a physical presence in the U.S. of at least ten years and five years after the age of fourteen.
Nothing less will suffice!
The Senator must understand that he was born “offshore” on “foreign” soil. This means that there is a presumption against his being a U.S. citizen. He owes it to the United States of America to rebut this presumption and to prove his U.S. citizenship. His presumed patriotism demands nothing less!
Although his U.S. citizenship is not clear, Senator Cruz is clearly a Canadian citizen Perhaps he should NOT renounce his Canadian citizenship until he has proven – on a preponderance of the evidence – that he truly is a U.S. citizen.
Senator Cruz’s position is …
Because I was a U.S. citizen at birth, because I left Calgary when I was 4 and have lived my entire life since then in the U.S., and because I have never taken affirmative steps to claim Canadian citizenship, I assumed that was the end of the matter,” Cruz said in a statement released Monday.
That is a completely “UnAmerican” position. He could he possibly think such a thing? This contradicts the position of the U.S. government. Let me clarify by asking a question.
Q. What if Mr. Cruz had been born in the United States and left at the age of four for Canada and never “claimed” his U.S. citizenship? Would the U.S. take the position that he was NOT a U.S. citizen?
A. The U.S. would take the position that he was a U.S. citizen whether he “claimed his citizenship” or not. It would then assert direct rights of ownership and abuse over him.
Ted Cruz should consider himself very lucky, because the citizenship he claims he didn’t realize he had doesn’t carry any punishment for his failure to recognize it. Moreover renouncing, if he really intends to follow through on that promise, will be relatively simple, cheap, and painless other than the cost to his US political career, if any. Not so if he had lived his life in Canada with his current apparent dual status. US citizens abroad now understand that discovering ties to the US means discovering a world of obligations and consequences flowing from citizenship that you were expected to know and obey. Ignorance of the law being no excuse, the punishments range from the merely ridiculous–many times any tax that would have ever been due–to the infuriating: life savings wiped out and many future tax savings sponsored by your home government, such as in education or health savings plans, treated as offshore trusts and therefore confiscated by the US. Moreover there is no ready escape hatch for the newly discovered and unwanted US citizenship: five years of full tax reporting compliance must be documented, appointments must be made with officials, fees must be remitted, interviews must be conducted, and in some cases exit taxes must be paid. If some in Congress get their way, renunciation could even mean life-time banishment from the US someday soon.
But more on this issue in: “The Cruz Chronicles 2”
For the moment the message to Senator Cruz should be:
You have some “paperwork” to do. Perhaps some forms to complete.
And the message to the rest of the world is:
It’s difficult to have the course of your life determined by your place of birth. Ask those five to seven million U.S. citizens abroad! Geography is their wound!